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Maine health officials on potential need for ‘field hospitals’

Could need for alternate care sites be coming?
Could need for alternate care sites be coming?(KCRG)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 4:42 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine health officials say they have no intentions of moving hospitalized patients to alternate care sites or field hospitals.

It’s another day of record numbers when it comes to hospitalizations and those in the ICU during the pandemic.

There are 226 Mainers in the hospital with COVID-19.

88 are in intensive care and 40 are on ventilators.

As of Wednesday, there are only 46 open ICU beds in the state.

At the start of the pandemic, locations like the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor were selected as locations where additional people could be sent should the need arise.

With many of those spots back to their primary purpose, DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew is aware of the growing need and is acting accordingly.

“We are hovering in the 40s and 50s on the number of available ICU beds, which is within the margin that we don’t think we need to get to that next level planning,” said Lambrew. “Should we get closer to that next level, we will roll up our sleeves and work with our facilities, but we will we will do anything we can to avoid having a person who needs health care in an insurance arena or in a gym.”

Dr. Nirav Shah reported the state’s seven day positivity rate for COVID-19 has dropped from just over 6 to less than 4,5%.

He says that’s not a trend yet, but a good sign.

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